İTÜ Collaborates with Yıldız Holding
May 01, 2015

İTÜ adds another to its strong university – industry collaborations. Our university, by signing an academic collaboration protocol with Yıldız Holding, opened the door of great advantages to both undergraduate and graduate students. The protocol aims to conduct mutual academic studies and provide job and internship opportunities that will open new horizons in graduate studies, R&D projects and university – industry collaboration.

The signature ceremony of the “İTÜ – Yıldız Holding Academic Collaboration Protocol” was held on Thursday, 30 April 2015 at the Rectorate building. Yıldız Holding Executive Board Vice-Chair Ali Ülker, first went to the Faculty of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, then visited our Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca in his office before the ceremony.

Our Rector gave information to Ülker about İTÜ’s uninterrupted history since 1773, the values it created and its current studies. The book 240. Year İTÜ History, edited by our Rector and the most comprehensive work on our university’s history, was presented to Ülker in memory of the day.

Then the signature ceremony took place in the Senate Room. With the protocol signed by Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca on behalf of İTÜ and by Executive Board Vice-Chair Ali Ülker on behalf of Yıldız Holding, a great multistage collaboration in the context of university – industry collaborations started. Vice-Rectors Prof. İbrahim Özkol, Prof. Mehmet Sabri Çelik, Dean of Faculty of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering Prof. Beraat Özçelik, Head of Department of Chemical Engineering Prof. Gürbüz Güneş, General Secretary Prof. Tayfun Kındap and Yıldız Holding Global Innovation President Ahmet Anbarlı also attended the ceremony.

‘Strong Steps toward the 250. Year’

Rector Prof. Mehmet Karaca spoke at the ceremony and noted that İTÜ is a university counting down toward its 250. year and said, “Our goal is to carry İTÜ to the future as a true research and innovation university.” Karaca expressed that they developed programs that support entrepreneurship and innovation with the steps taken especially during the last 2 years and emphasized that the amount of support given to projects by faculty members and the number of projects was increased. Karaca said, “We wish to build an industry model that understands the university and a university model that understands the industry. It is indispensable for the academic and industrial developments to complement each other for the sustainability of the country’s progress.”

Karaca mentioned that İTÜ is very sensitive about collaboration agreements and prefers to take concrete and successful steps with the world brands and said, “In this regard, we believe that the projects we will conduct with Yıldız Holding will create new values and we are excited over this. We wish that this protocol between İTÜ which is among the world’s oldest universities with its 242 years of uninterrupted history and Yıldız Holding that incorporates successful international brands with its prestigious position in the world market to conduct academic studies and R&D activities, will have a leading role and open the door to innovations.”

‘Joint study with Germany about Omega-3’

Yıldız Holding Executive Board Vice-Chair Ali Ülker emphasized the importance of establishments to be in touch with science and academy circles and to work together on joint projects. Ülker said, “As a global food company, we would like to benefit society through academic collaborations and to be a pioneer in this respect. Finding solutions to problems the world struggles with requires new approaches. Traditional intellectual fields are changing to be able to find answers to the global society’s complex questions. Only joint solutions we find hand in hand can be effective while generating solutions to global problems.”

Ülker noted that İTÜ, with the research it does in the food field, has a reputable place in the world and said, “We received İTÜ’s support in many projects over the years, we carried out research together. We are now making this work permanent with a protocol. As the first step of the protocol, we focused on a multidimensional study in which international science, technology and industry stakeholders come together. Kiel University and Breko GmbH company from Germany and İstanbul Technical University and Yıldız Holding’s innovation company NorthStar Innovation from Turkey will work on a functional product that aims at increasing omega-3-fatty acid levels in humans.”

It will shape new products

Within the context of the joint projects between our Department of Food Engineering and Yıldız Holding, the latest study was on increasing the stability of oil-water emulsions. Scientific data obtained through this study that pushed the limits of food science and technology shaped the product development studies by the product development teams at Yıldız Holding’s relevant categories. Another joint study was on analyzing some antioxidants that are found naturally in chocolate and are proven through numerous scientific studies to have beneficial effects on human health. The protocol will increase similar studies. Some of the joint work included in the protocol are:

• Opportunity of part time work for a duration of one year to İTÜ students who perform short-term internship at Yıldız Holding and are chosen at the end of their internship, priority in full time recruitment to students who complete their education.
• Collaboration with İTÜ faculty members will be the primary preference for Yıldız Holding’s projects supported by national and international funds.
• İTÜ students pursuing their master’s and doctorate thesis studies will be able to use Yıldız Holding facilities and laboratories in subjects that fall into common areas of interest; they will be able to receive raw material and consumable goods support.
• Our students will have the right to work part time for 2 years during master’s studies and for 4 years during doctorate studies at Yıldız Holding.
• Yıldız Holding will provide pilot facility and laboratory installation support to our Department of Food Engineering.